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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Implementation and Rejection of Industrial Steam System Energy Efficiency Measures


Steam systems consume approximately one third of energy applied at U.S. industrial facilities. To reduce energy consumption, steam system energy assessments have been conducted on a wide range of industry types over the course of five years through the Energy Savings Assessment (ESA) program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE). ESA energy assessments result in energy efficiency measure recommendations that are given potential energy and energy cost savings and potential implementation cost values. Saving and cost metrics that measure the impact recommended measures will have at facilities, described as percentages of facility baseline energy and energy cost, are developed from ESA data and used in analyses. Developed savings and cost metrics are examined along with implementation and rejection rates of recommended steam system energy efficiency measures. Based on analyses, implementation of steam system energy efficiency measures is driven primarily by cost metrics: payback period and measure implementation cost as a percentage of facility baseline energy cost (implementation cost percentage). Stated reasons for rejecting recommended measures are primarily based upon economic concerns. Additionally, implementation rates of measures are not only functions of savings and cost metrics, but time as well.

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